Here are the key facts that cyclists should keep in mind when shopping for cycling sunglasses:
1. Eye safety
If you’re on a bike and not wearing a bike helmet you are crazy! The same applies to cycling sunglasses. You should wear your cycling sunglasses in any weather and in any light. If it’s dark choose a clear or low light lens.
You need your sunglasses for protection (just like your helmet) from the stones and debris that can flick up from the, road, or from the cyclist in front of you, dust from vehicles and insects.
While all sunglasses must meet minimum impact standards, plastic lenses are less likely to shatter upon impact than glass lenses.
Fashion sunglasses or lifestyle sunglasses, offer very little protection, with respect to breakage, as the lenses are thin and may not be made from polycarbonate.
Top cycling sunglasses have thicker lenses (usually about 2mm thick) and are made from NXT or polycarbonate lenses, which offer better impact resistance than regular plastic.
If you’re really serious about safety & impact resistance, look for glasses that comply with Australian and New Zealand Standards. This is a high standard for both frames and lenses and only a few sports sunglasses can meet these standards. Ocean Eyewear meets all these standards.
2. UV protection
Most sunglasses will block UV light – but you already know that. It’s a low standard. These days UV protection can be achieved even by the cheap “knock offs” from China or the sunglasses you buy in your local petrol station.
Sports sunglasses which have NXT or polycarbonate lenses naturally absorb some UV light. UV absorption is improved by adding chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or by applying special lens coatings.
There is a difference, in that some cycling sunglasses do not give you 100% UV protection. But You need the protection! Always choose cycling sunglasses that are labelled as blocking 99-100% of UV rays or look for a label which says “UV absorption up to 400nm.” This is the same as 100% UV absorption.
3. Wraparound sunglasses are not just to look good
Wraparound cycling sunglasses have been around for a long time and it is not just a marketing gimmick. You need a cycling sunglass with a curved lens and to wrap around the side of your face.
This wrapping around design, prevents the sun’s rays from entering your eyes from the sides. Wrap lenses will naturally cover more area. Ocean Eyewear’s ergonomic design offers ultimate protection.
If you do not wear wraparounds it’s like having a slow puncture on your bike – as the sun’s rays and UV light will enter around the frames to reduce the protective benefits of your sports sunglasses.
Bike design allows you to adjust your bike for your specific body measurements. Now there is a whole bike fitting industry built around this. We all know that people are not all the same size. Ocean Eyewear is all about You!
Some, so called cycling sunglasses allow zero adjustment. Would you buy a bike where you could not adjust the seat?You need cycling sunglasses that will fit on your head. You do not want sunglasses that move around or slide down your nose.
Really good cycling sunglasses, brands like Ocean Eyewear will have adjustable nose pads and temple arms, so you can mould them to fit your face. Soft rubber mouldings and temple tips also adds to the general good fit, comfort and stability of the sunglasses on your face.
5. Lens grade or darkness
Sports sunglasses lens grades or darkness is a complex area, and is concerned about the lens’s ability to screen out visible light.
Simplistically a grade 0 lens is clear and grade 5 is used in welding goggles. Most cyclists who ride during the day need lens grades between 2 to 3. For morning rides it’s nice to have Low light lenses which start at about grade 0.5.
As a cyclist you’re exposed to a lot of direct sunlight and light reflected from surfaces you generally need a darker lens. I would go for a medium to dark lens grade between 2 to 3. If you’re in very bright environments with no cover, or very little cloud, then you may go for an even darker lens at 3. In Australia you need a 2-3. In the UK you can probable get away with a grade 2.
In the early morning wear a clear lens (grade 0), a low light lens (grade 0.5 to 1) or even better a photochromic lens which will go darker when exposed to UV light. Ocean Eyewear cycling glasses has a photochromic lens which darkens and lightens within seconds to give you the ultimate comfort and flexibility.
6. Lens Quality
As a cyclist you may know that there is a huge difference in carbon fibre for bike frames but it’s hard to spot the difference. It’s the same with cycling sunglasses lenses. It’s hard to spot the difference.
Lens quality is hard to spot in the shop in bright artificial light. There is a huge difference between lenses and even between polycarbonate lenses,which your cycling sunglasses should be made of.
Despite what you may hear in the “marketing hype” from the popular sports sunglasses companies; polycarbonate lenses manufacturing is not a proprietary technology, most of the lens materials used by sports sunglasses companies are just the same.
There are some very good polycarbonate lenses out there; but this is because the quality control of the manufacturing process is better, and the raw material they start with is more pure. But frankly, in the shop when you’re buying your cycling sunglasses you will have trouble telling the difference from the good to the excellent. So let Ocean Eyewear take the worry and confusion away – our lenses are great!
The only real way to know you’re getting the best is to buy Polycarbonate lenses is to buy from a reputable quality company who care about these things: like Ocean Eyewear sunglasses.
7. Standard extras and upgrades
The last bike I bought had a standard set up but I upgraded the gearing and the wheels. It’s the same with cycling sunglasses. You get the basic feature and then you can see if there are any “nice to have” upgrades. With Ocean Eyewear extras and upgrades are standard!
For cycling sunglasses this would be lens coatings for glare protection and vented lenses to release moisture. The choice is yours, and with a pair of Ocean Eyewear cycling sunglasses you can have these options.
A nice to have is a photochromic lens which automatically darkens in bright light and becomes lighter in low light. Great for early morning rides.
Polarized lenses can be very comfortable in very bright conditions and will cut reflected glare when sunlight bounces off smooth surfaces like pavement or road.
So, I hope you know more about sport sunglasses and will consider this blog when you buy your next pair of cycling sunglasses.
As a reward for reading this far, Ocean Eyewear are offering you an upgraded hard Protective case if you purchase a new pair of Ocean Eyewear sports sunglasses.
Just enter discount code “BLOGCase” in the comment section at the Ocean Eyewear shop www.edgetradinggroup.com.au.